Diffusion of Policy Ideas on Gender and Diversity

Building on Prof. Zippel’s research investigating the creation and dissemination of ideas about gender equity among a network of U.S. universities, projects funded by the Einstein Foundation explore how demands for equity simultaneously result in a web of tensions within and across institutions, countries, and regions of the world.

The mission of academic excellence in higher education, for example, tends to position beliefs in meritocracy against the democratic values of equity and diversity. To analyze the role of gender in debates surrounding these and related concepts (such as quotas, violence, participation, and voice), projects in this research stream will use computational text analysis of reports on gender and science (in other English-speaking contexts) to (a) trace the dissemination of ideas about these concepts, and (b) identify the gendered network structures that underlie the various institutions and actors.

This research will take into account that knowledge economies in academia and elsewhere continue to undergo transformation(s) through economic, social, political, technological, pandemic-related, and other global processes. 

Prof. Zippel is cooperating with Prof. Yasemin Soysal (WZB) and Gulay Caglar (FU, OSI) on a related project on “Diversity Scripts” that will complement research in this stream.



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